Saturday, 24 December 2016

The Christmas Tag

Illustration by The Smell of Roses

I was planning on doing the Christmas Tag myself for this blog post but thought I've probably answered the majority of these questions in a round about way in my previous Blogmas posts, so I decided to rope in my nieces (Evelyn - 7 and Belle - 5) and ask them instead, plus they're a lot more entertaining than me!

What's your favourite Christmas film?

Evelyn - "I really like The Grinch because it's funny. I like it when The Grinch dances and wiggles his hairy bum!"
Belle - "I like The Santa Clause because I like it when Santa falls off the roof and I love when the reindeer pumps like this (makes pumping noise)!

What's your favourite thing about Christmas?

Evelyn - "Presents and all the food because its a really nice thing with family and friends at Christmas."
Belle - "Turkey and nuts."

Favourite festive food?

Evelyn - "The turkey and pistachios."
Belle - "Turkey, nuts and wine."

What gift do you want the most this Christmas?

Evelyn - "Lego Funfair because it looks so cool and it's going to be so cool."
Belle - "Lollipop Maker because I want to make lollipops then eat them."

Favourite Christmas song?

Evelyn - "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday because it's nice and jolly and I like to shake my hips to it."
Belle - "Santa Clause Is Coming To Town because I like to say HEY and do this." (She then fist pumps the air)

Favourite memory from Christmas?

Evelyn - "Opening my presents and seeing ones from my list. I got really excited when I saw my Puppy Suprise because I forgot to put it on my list cos I was really really busy with life, but Santa read my mind and knew cos I was wishing out my window and he saw me!"
Belle - "Eating turkey and nuts" (Belle's clearly a huge fan of turkey and nuts!)

What's your New Years resolution?

Evelyn - "Not to eat sweets for 2 months, and I really mean it Auntie El so stop looking at me!"
Belle - "To start carrying my own school bag for mummy."

Can you both name all of Santa's reindeers?

Evelyn - "Comet, Blitzen, Dasher..." (thinking hard)
Belle - "I know! Cumin, Donner, Blitzen, Mole cos I like that name, urmmmm Blitzen."
Evelyn -  "Oh and Rudolph!"

I hope you enjoyed this post. These are their genuine answers typed up word for word, and I can assure you Belle has eaten turkey and nuts on other days other than Christmas!

Leave me a link below to your Christmas tag, I'd love to have a read!

Ellé



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Monday, 12 December 2016

10 of my favourite Christmas songs!

Illustration by The Smell of Roses

As soon as Halloween ends I get the Christmas movies on the TV (add link to 10 xmas films) and the Christmas music blasting from my car. There is not a lot of time between Halloween and Christmas day to fully appreciate the songs made especially for this time of year, so I like to give myself maximum time to enjoy them until my heart is content.

Wham! - Last Christmas


Mariah Carey - All I Want For Christmas


Boney M - Mary's Boy Child


Carol of the Bells


Michael Bublé - Christmas

Chris Rea - Driving Home for Christmas

Bing Crosby - White Christmas

The Pogues - Fairytale of New York

Elton John - Step Into Christmas

Shakin' Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone


What's your favourite Christmas songs to get you excited for the big day?

Ellé x
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Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Peppermint White Hot Chocolate Recipe



I'm not really a hot drink person but something I can definitely get on board with is hot chocolate. Its my favourite thing to drink in the colder months, with a comfy blanket and a good Christmas film. You can see my top 10 Christmas films here.

For Blogmas I thought I'd whip up something festive and a little different to the basic hot chocolate. This is a really easy peasy recipe in which you can decide the quantities and just chuck it all in! So, if you haven't guessed from the blog title I made a Peppermint White Hot Chocolate. This may sound sickly, but the balance of the sweet chocolate is cut with the after taste of the refreshing and Christmassy taste of peppermint!

Ingredients:

  • White chocolate - this can be in a bar, buttons or chocolate chips. Whatever you fancy!
  • Peppermint essence
  • x2 Candy canes
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Squirty cream
  • Marshmallows

Method:

  • In a sauce pan pour the milk in and add in the white chocolate. For the milk it depends how many cups your wanting to make. I usually just fill the cup I'm going to use 3/4 of the way leaving plenty of room for the toppings! For the chocolate it depends on taste. I hate milk and like mine to be strong. For my own cup I added in 8 squares of chocolate. Its best to start less as you can always add more as you go - just give it a quick taste test before.
  • Keep it on a medium heat and keep stirring to make sure the chocolate melts and the milk doesn't burn. 
  • Now to add the peppermint essence. This is optional, again it depends on how much of a fan you are. I added a cap full into mine. If you want to skip this step you can always use one of the candy canes as a stirrer to get a subtle hint of peppermint.
  • Once you've given it a good stir and made sure the chocolate is melted and that the milk is steaming you can then remove it off the heat and pour it into your mug of choice.
  • To cool it a bit so you don't burn your tongue, just add a splash of cream.
  • Time for the toppings! I topped mine with squirty cream, mini marshmallows and then I added one of the candy canes in whole as a stirrer then crushed the other one in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, then sprinkled on top.
Et voila! A super simple but festive drink for a cosy night in. Now I'm not meaning to blow my own trumpet but this is seriously tasty!

Leave me a comment below if you re-create this recipe or share me a link to yours.

Ellé
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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Female Christmas gift guide

Illustration by The Smell of Roses
One of my favourite parts about Christmas is the build up and excitement of getting everyones presents then giving it to them on Christmas day. I love watching peoples reaction and excitement. I've picked 10 presents from different price points that would be perfect for any female in your family, or you could just put them all on your list like I have!
1. Too Faced Grande Hotel - contains 3 different palettes which have eyeshadows as well as blushers and bronzers. They also smell like festive treats! Give one lucky person the whole set or give away a palette to 3 different people.
2. Leopard daily journal - I love leopard and I love stationary. This was featured on The Anna Edits lifestyle gift guide and I've been lusting after it ever since.
3. Spectrum 10 piece essential - Spectrum do the most beautiful brushes, they're great quality and have a decent price point.
4. Lined Leather Mules - these can be a bit love / hate but I love them. These Zara lined leather mules are a good dupe for the Gucci Princetown Mules and a lot cheaper!
5. Emma Hardie Merrily Moringa - I have heard a lot of rave reviews for this product but couldn't face the usual price tag. This cute little bauble is the perfect way to test the waters before spending.
6. Missguided coat - what better time to get a new coat than at winter. The padded coat is having a bit of a moment currently and I love the faux fur lining.
7. Snow Fairy gift set - my favourite scent from Lush. It literally smells like those bubble gum fizzy bottle sweets!
8. Oil slick planter - such a cute pot for a cactus in your house.
9. Get The Glow - I love Madeline Shaw's YouTube channel and blog for all her healthy recipes and can only expect the book to be just as good.
10. Ouai - the brand new hair collection by Jen Atkin who styles celebrities hairs including Chrissy Teigan, Jessica Alba and of course the Kardashians. After watching a few tutorials her products look insane and I'm dying to try the texturising spray.

Ellé x
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Thursday, 1 December 2016

Top 10 Christmas Films to Watch this year!

Illustration by The Smell of Roses

My favourite kind of film is a Christmas film. There's nothing else like it. All year I pine until November when I can finally watch my favourites without feeling guilty or being judged! Here are my ultimate top 10 Christmas films...

The Santa Clause

There's Tim Allen, there's Elves with Attitude and a kids dad becomes Santa. What's not to love?

Home Alone 1 & 2

They count as one right? These are the ultimate classics that I annoyingly quote the whole way through. I think 2 is my favourite just because of New York. I just love Kevin, Marv, Harry and Buzz - those guys crack me up!


Elf

I remember my mum and dad taking me to watch this when it first came out in the cinema in 2003 (I was 8 I'm now 21!!!!) and its just one of those that gets better and funnier the more you watch.

The Grinch

Jim Carrey is hilarious in this and I just LOVE the Grinch. I need to meet him in real life.

Love Actually

This film gives me all the feels. I love the story line and how it all intertwines, plus its a proper British romcom and I love who stars in it.


The Holiday

Another romcom which makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. You've got the eye candy of Jude Law, the comedy of Jack Black and a really cute old man.

Nativity

This film is completely underrated and I don't hear enough people talking about it! It's a bunch of children in Infant school preparing for their school Nativity. What I love about it is that they didn't give the kids scripts or proper directions so some of the stuff they come out with hilarious!

Polar Express

I just love this film its so magical plus it always makes me crave the hot chocolate they get on the train!

Muppets Christmas Carol

Out of all the Christmas Carols this one will always remain my favourite. The muppets, the songs, its just perfect!

Jack Frost

This is the saddest yet heartwarming film in one. It definitely tugs on the heart strings but I love it so much!


What are your favourite Christmas films?

Ellé





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Sunday, 13 November 2016

The last three books I read


This is something different for my blog but I'm not sure why I haven't done it sooner. I love reading and Amazon have always got a three for £10 offer on their website.

I picked up Clare Mackintosh's I Let You Go after reading the blurb where it said - 'Did you love Gone Girl and Girl On The Train? Now lose yourself in the twisty, enthralling psychological thriller that everyone is talking about.' After reading that I was sold. I loved Gone Girl and Girl On The Train, and I Let You Go is definitely up their with them as one of my favourites.

In a split second, Jenna Gray's world is shattered. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape her past, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of the cruel November night that changed her life forever.

Slowly, Jenna begins to glimpse the potential for happiness in her future. But her past is about to catch up with her, and the consequences will be devastating...

This book is certainly a page turner and hits you straight in the face with big surprises all the way throughout. I did not guess how it was going to end  and I definitely did not expect any of the twists and turns throughout. As a psychological thriller it really grips you and had me hooked at every available chance trying to cram in a few more pages.

The next book I picked up was Giovanna Fletcher's Dream a Little Dream. This is the first book I've read by Giovanna and it certainly won't be the last.

Sarah is doing fine... sure, she's been single for the last two years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend, his perfect new girlfriend and all their mutual friends. And yes, her job as a PA to one of the most disgusting men in London is mind numbingly tedious and her career is a constant disappointment to her mother. But it's really okay. She's happy(ish).

So it's not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins to look forward to falling asleep every night. Reality isn't nearly as exciting. That is until her dream-stranger makes an unexpected real-life appearance, leaving Sarah questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Because no one ever really finds the person of their dreams... do they?

This book was an easy read but I still loved it. I really got involved with the characters and felt all the emotions for them all, especially Sarah. This book is a real heart-warmer.

The final book was Beautiful Broken Things by Sarah Barnard. I'd say this is more of a teen book which I didn't realise when I picked it up but I still enjoyed it all the same.

Caddy and Rosie have always been inseparable but that was before Suzanne. Now Caddy wants to be more than just the quiet one. She wants something to happen.

Suzanne is trying to escape her past and be someone different. Someone free. But sometimes downward spirals have a momentum of their own. And no one can break your heart like a best friend.

This a beautiful story about female friendship between three girls at school. I actually found Caddy quite relatable to my younger self as well. I did find parts of the story dragged slightly, but when it finally got going I found it gripping and it became another page turner.

What are your favourite books at the moment? Have you read any of the above?

I hope you had a good weekend,

Ellé x
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Sunday, 6 November 2016

The Rose Gold Pleated Skirt | 1 item 2 ways








I've been lusting for a rose gold pleated skirt ever since seeing Lily Pebbles in her clothing haul a few weeks ago. It then turned into stalking every pleated skirt on Pinterest and Instagram until I found the one. Everyone meet this gorgeous number from Missguided!

Back in August I did a 1 Dress 2 Ways post which was very popular and I really enjoyed styling and shooting. As the pleated skirt is really having a moment currently I thought I'd do another 1 item 2 ways post to show you how you can make this beautiful metallic pleated skirt casual for the daytime, as well as dress it up for the evening.

I hope you liked how I styled it. Its currently my favourite thing in my wardrobe at the moment!

Hope you had a good weekend.

Ellé x
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Sunday, 30 October 2016

How to finally get a good nights sleep with Holland & Barrett

As soon as I wake up I check my phone and scroll through the usual suspects - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat then maybe flick through them once more before I get up ready to start the day. I get to work and sit down for a day which usually results in me staring at a laptop screen and repeating my morning routine, but this time its my works social media accounts. I then get home and flick through the same social media apps while I aimlessly watch tv in the background. I'm not paying attention to the phone in my hand or the tv in the background, but this has become routine until I finally get to bed.

36% of the British population are sleep deprived and Holland & Barrett are on a mission to help people finally get a good nights kip. When I got an email from their lovely PR team about their #GoodSleep campaign I knew I just had to say yes. I took their sleep test which you can do here, and got diagnosed as their "Late Night Browser" - who'd have guessed it? I know for a fact though that pretty much all of my friends will probably fall under this category as well, it has now become the norm to be more involved in what's happening on our phones that we rarely take a second to take a step back and see what's happening right in front of us, not just behind the screen.

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Sunday, 23 October 2016

Satori Salon Plymouth blogger event

Last Friday myself and some of the other lovely Plymouth bloggers were invited to an evening of pampering at Satori Salon which is based in Drake Circus. When you step inside its like its own separate bubble to the hustle and bustle of outside, you can just sit back and relax and let the world pass by or even have a little people watch as you get your nails done if you grab a window seat, who doesn't like doing that to pass the time?

I was really looking forward to this blogger event as I never usually treat myself to a bit of pampering in a salon, I normally just try and do everything myself at home. Throughout the evening we were given the chance to have a nosey throughout the salon, try some of their products/treatments and watch a demonstration of microblading.

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Sunday, 16 October 2016

My favourite autumn lipsticks

Autumn lipsticks

I love autumn, it's one of my favourite times of the year; Mainly because I get super excited about Christmas from the end of September but also because I love the clothes and makeup you can wear. Cosy knits, deep colours, statement lips and eyes, the list goes on and on.  This week I thought I'd share with you my all time favourite lipsticks to wear this time of year. I've got a few nudes, a couple berry colours and of course some very festive red!

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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Beauty Advent Calendars for every budget


Long gone are the days when just a chocolate calendar or dare I say it a picture one (!) are acceptable for the countdown to Christmas. Now it seems everywhere and everyone have got beauty advent calendars. Now I'm partial to a Cadbury chocolate advent every year and never normally stray far from the path, but last year was the first time experiencing the beauty advent and I must admit I loved it. I did keep my chocolate one as well because when else is it acceptable to wake up and have chocolate other than during December and Easter?

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Sunday, 2 October 2016

How to get rid of pesky blind spots


 Don’t you just hate those really annoying spots that are the size of Mount Vesuvius and feel so bruised and sore, like it’s going to erupt at any moment and cause an earth quake. I have had the same one for MONTHS now and have only just managed to finally get rid of it after nailing my skin care. These horrible little creatures like to burrow somewhere along your chin when it’s ‘that time’ of the month to make you feel so much better about yourself. The reason they are so painful is because they are located deep under the surface of the skin and are close to the nerves making them very red and sore.

To save you the time, hurt, redness and money I thought I would be kind and share my 10 steps on how I got rid of them for good!

  1. DON’T PICK – this may seem like an obvious one but so many people make this mistake. By picking, squeezing or god knows what else you can do with it you’re likely to make it sore and much worse in the long run. Think of all the bacteria... eeeewwwwww.
  2. To help speed the process of it coming to a head, try putting a flannel in really hot water (not so hot you end up burning off your skin) and place it over the top for a while. Doing this morning and night helps shift it along.
  3. Take off your makeup properly. Another simple one that you should already be doing. It’s so easy to just use a makeup wipe and dive into bed (trust me I’m a fan), but it just doesn’t help the cause. If I am going to use a wipe I’ll make sure I use a face wash afterwards as well.
  4. That was a good link, now onto facewash. I picked up the new Body Shop 3 in 1 tea tree wash in hope that it would solve all of my problems and it definitely played a big part. You can use this as a wash, scrub or mask depending on what you fancy; I mainly use it as a wash. The thing I love about tea tree products is that you can instantly feel it getting down to business; The fact that it’s a Body Shop product just makes me even happier. As I have sensitive skin I always feel safe when picking a Body Shop product, plus the staff in Plymouth are always amazing.
  5. Before bed I use good old Germolene on the spot to soak in overnight. Word of warning, don’t use it before your makeup as it makes everything congeal! Germolene is an antiseptic cream which helps clean the area to prevent any infections as well as soothing the pain. My family have used this for everything since I can remember… My mums favourite answer to any dilemma is to put some Germolene on it.
  6. Once a week I also like to use a clay mask to pull out any impurities. I’ve been using the new one from L’Oréal which has been great. Again it doesn’t react with my skin and I feel like it helps reduce the size.
  7. Due to having to cover up the blind spot with makeup I like to try and make sure there’s some sort of barrier between the foundation and the skin. I’ve been using the Make Up Forever Smoothing Primer. This helps create the barrier as well as making sure my makeup stays in place so I’m not having to cover up throughout the day.
  8. Wash your brushes regularly – I HATE washing my brushes it’s such a boring and long task. The first thing I usually do though when I have a breakout is wash the brushes. It’s important to keep up with it as all the dirt and bacteria just builds up and then you end up smearing it all over your face, which is not what you want!
  9. Drinking more water and eating a bit better can really help make all the difference, working from the inside rather than from the outside.
  10. Last but not least it’s important to keep up with your routine. There’s no point finally getting clear skin nailed to then go back to your old ways!
I hope you find this post helpful and you've had a great weekend!

Ellé x
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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Results With Lucy New Beginnings Plan

Results With Lucy


This post is a little different to my usual fashion/beauty posts but I really wanted to share my experience so far with Results With Lucy. I have been wanting to get fitter for a while now and have tried numerous YouTube videos and dvds that just weren’t helping. After choosing to do Results With Lucy for a couple months now I thought I would share a little review by answering some hopefully helpful questions, that will give you a bit more information and insight. I know when I was weighing up my options to start with I was wanting as much information as possible from people who have done it themselves, so here you go…

What made you start Results With Lucy?

I’ve always been slim and have got away easily with eating what I want and doing as little exercise as possible. Obviously as my body started to mature I noticed more of a change, especially with my hips. When I was at school I was very good at keeping active, it all changed though one day when I was walking and my knee suddenly dislocated and ended up on the other side of my leg (gross). I ended up in a huge elephant bandage, then a cast followed by a ‘Forest Gump’ like contraption where I was unable to bend my leg for 6 months. Obviously by the time I had this all removed I had little to no muscle in my left leg. I was given lots of physio and exercises to do but as soon as I could walk again without a limp, I soon gave them all up.

Because of my naïve decision my knee ended up dislocating regularly and I used it as a poor excuse to give up all forms of exercise which just made very lazy and unfit. Last year I decided I was going to start running as I thought this may help. Within the 3rd week I had damaged my knee and the doctor gave me a stern telling off and said I should try something more gentler on the knees, if I came in again with my knee I would be straight into surgery, which for some reason is something I have always been scared of.

I started seeing RWL floating all over the internet and got a bit obsessed with checking the #rwlfitties hashtag on Instagram as well as looking at Lucy Mecks before and after. Lucy’s before and after really appealed to me as I feel like we had some things in common. We both were slim to start off with but due to our diet and lack of exercise we were both unfit, tired and untoned. It was important to me that I didn’t lose weight, but just gained a healthier lifestyle, a toned body (especially in the legs), a stronger knee so I wasn’t constantly worrying and just fitter in general.

How long have you been doing RWL?

I have just completed the New Beginnings plan which is the first one I have done with RWL. The plan was 13 weeks long – I’m pretty chuffed I have stuck to one thing for so long, I usually give up after the first day. You only have to exercise 4 times a week and they compile a playlist for you for each day. Each day is probably only around 45 minutes of exercising. They start with a warm up followed by 2 or 3 videos focusing on different parts of the body e.g. legs, arms, abs or cardio and then you have a cool down.

Does it get boring?

Not in the slightest! It’s not like fitness dvds where you have the same music, instructor, exercises and music all the time. Each day you’re doing something different and in most videos you have a different instructor. Lucy usually appears in the majority of videos along with Cecilia, and then you have a few other instructors who focus on different type of exercises e.g yoga, cardio. This keeps everything fresh. I’m not denying that there hasn’t been one day where I’ve gone ‘eugggh I really don’t want to do this’ because there has been plenty of days like that, but as soon as I do it I’m always buzzing and have so much more energy.

Do you need to be fit already?

Definitely not. Obviously if you’re just starting and you’re not very active it is probably best to start with the New Beginnings plan. You can actually fill out a quick questionnaire on the website which will recommend you the most suitable plan. The New Beginnings plan is progressive and gets slightly harder each week pushing your abilities further and further. What’s also nice is that even Lucy struggles with some of the moves which is quite refreshing! The RWL community on social is also very supportive. I like to look at some of their posts to encourage me to keep at it.

What happens if you’re ill / on holiday?

This was one of my main worries. I knew I had a week’s holiday coming up at the end of the plan, I also then had a couple days where I was ill which you obviously can’t control. Luckily RWL have thought about this and there is an option where you can turn holiday mode on. This extends your plan by two weeks which I found so helpful.

What’s the food plan like?

With the New Beginnings plan there is a full food plan to coincide with the fitness plan. They’ve created a little help sheet to let you know what to avoid and how to replace certain foods etc. Then there’s also a breakfast, lunch and dinner recipe for each day as well as a weekly shopping list which factors in what you should have already brought from the previous weeks.

I will be truthful in saying that I haven’t stuck to the food plan as well as the fitness plan. I have tried a few of the recipes and have loved them, there’s a huge variety and it’s not just different versions of salads! As I still live at home with the parents I find it quite hard to stick to the recipes every day as I have to use the ingredients in the house and eat with everyone else as well. I have been eating healthily though and have been taking inspiration from the recipes.

How much weight have you lost?

I didn’t weigh myself before or after, I don’t even own scales. When I last got checked at the doctors they said my BMI was perfectly normal so I’ll just go along with that. I don’t like the thought of getting hung up on my weight as it can be quite demoralising if you think you’ve worked your butt off to then be told you’ve put on x amount of pounds.

I will say I have noticed that my hips and legs have changed the most which I’m very happy about. I’m normally a size 8 but was really struggling as my hips, thighs and bum were more of a 10 which made getting jeans impossible. Now I’m a solid 8 all over.

Results With Lucy before and after

What did you like / dislike the most?

I liked how it’s always something different and covers the whole body. With working a full time job I also like how I can fit it around my own timetable. Another thing was the fitness test every 4 weeks – I loved being able to see progress that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

There wasn’t anything I really disliked about the plan or RWL in general but I would say my least favourite would be the cardio! Every time it pops up I die a little inside, I’ve always hated cardio, for some reason I just always forget to breathe! To be honest though the cardio videos are still fun, especially the dancing ones, and once I’ve done it I’m always so chuffed that I’ve finished it (and it’s over).

What are you most proud of?

This may sound silly but I can now do 24 press ups on my knees in a minute. That may seem pathetic to some, but I could barely do 1 without collapsing on the floor unable to pick myself back up from the floor to complete it! When I first did the test on day 1, one of the exercises is to do as many press ups as you can in a minute, I put down that I managed 13; Now that I think back to it I 100% cheated. I did that thing where you just dip your arm but your bum and that is just sticking up in the air.

What plan are you doing next?

I’m planning on doing the Wobble to Model plan next which I’m excited for followed by HIIT Harder.


I hope you enjoyed this kind of post! This isn’t an ad in the slightest I just wanted to hopefully help anyone else who may be considering RWL or are wanting to kick-start their fitness journey.

Ellé x
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Sunday, 11 September 2016

My first cruise experience

Norweigan Cruise Line The Epic

Last Sunday I was just getting back from my first cruise ever around the Med with Norweigan Cruise Line. My dad works for the company so me and mum decided to hop on The Epic and trial it out for a holiday.

Although my dad has gone on and on about how amazing the ship is and the facilities I just did not expect it to be as amazing as it was. In my head I always pictured cruises to be full of old people in their finest garments / a mixture of the titanic, and that just wasn't something that appealed to me. I didn't have to worry as NCL had it covered and there's everything you could possibly want or need on the ship. I don't have a picture, for some strange reason I didn't take one, but there are plenty on Google images.

What really surprised me was that there was a mixture of different people, of all ages and from different parts of the world all enjoying it so much. And it's no wonder as I mentioned previously, there is everything on the ship including multiple restaurants/buffets, pools, huge slides, spa, shopping, a theatre (!!!), circus tent, ice room, bars, hairdressers, casino, nightclubs and so much more! What I loved most though is that although you're on the ship you wake up in a different place to explore every morning.

Me and mum decided to fly out on Saturday to Barcelona before we joined the ship on the Sunday so we could have a quick look around. We ended up just getting lost while walking around looking at all of the beautiful buildings as well as a bit of shopping of course, and then we had to have some paella and tapas!






Sunday we joined the ship in Barcelona and then Monday was a day at sea. On Tuesday morning we arrived in Naples. Now I was really excited to see Italy as I've always wanted to go but hadn't got round to it until now. We had booked tours for pretty much every day as we wanted to cram in as much as possible. We traveled to Sorrento in the morning which was beautiful, where we had some free time to explore and of course have some gelato. It is never to early to have gelato!








Then to finish the day off we headed back to Naples for a panoramic tour and most importantly to try a proper margherita pizza. The pizzas literally did not stop coming, you had to ask them when you wanted them to stop bringing them out. I honestly have to say it was the best pizza I have ever tasted! Fun fact as well... it's called the margherita pizza because it was made in honour of Queen Margherita.

Next stop was Rome. Again we split the day up into two. For the morning we headed out into the countryside out by Castel Gondolfo (where the Pope has his mini break) and marvelled at the scenery and the quaint town. Then all of a sudden there was a huge thunder and lightning storm which lasted for the rest of the day making it a very soggy trip! Anyway for lunch we headed to Nonna Lydia's farm where her family have a vineyard and restaurant as well. Nonna Lydia showed us how to make 3 different pastas then knocked us up with a delicious 5 course meal. We had bruschetta, tuna salad, gnocchi, lasagne, tiramisu and then espresso and biscotti!

After lunch we headed to the main part of Rome to view all the impressive buildings.








The final day in Italy was in the beautiful city of Florence and then a quick stop in Pisa for the obvious tourist photo. Florence has to be my absolute favourite destination out of this whole holiday. I couldn't get over how gorgeous and historical it looked all at once. For lunch we even dined in an ancient palace! Also another fun fact as I seem to like them in this post... Pinocchio originated from Florence. 











Next stop was Cannes, we decided to do a trip to Monaco and Monte Carlo as it's always been on my mums list of place to visit, I think she just wanted to pretend she was Grace Kelly. Although it was very expensive bursting with designer shops, they were both so picturesque and didn't even look real. They reminded me of little toy towns from fairy tales.







Our final stop was Marseille but I unfortunately don't have any pictures to share. Me and mum decided to take a day off from the tours to just spend some free time shopping.

All in all though I had a fantastic time and would definitely look into doing a cruise again, like I said I just love the fact you wake up in a new place every morning without the hassel of travel.

Have you ever been on a cruise before, did you enjoy it?

I hope you had a good weekend.

Ellé x
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